Good Lord. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted. Thank God they don’t exact any kind of chocolate fine for my lax behavior.
In my defense, things have been insane between the SiWC, workshops, volunteering, and writing. Still, it’s not much of an excuse. So, to make up, here are a bunch of stories.
The Cat in the Tree
Exactly as it sounds. Came home the other day and the dogs (in their kennels) were going nuts.l Which, truly, no surprise. Leave these bunnies alone for more than an hour, come back, and it’s like you’ve been gone for a month. I let them out of their dens, and Murphy made this really weird sound. So, I, assuming (ha ha. First mistake) that he had to pee, let them into the yard.
They bayed and tore across the lawn. I followed and to my horror, discovered my boys had treed this poor cat. Like 20 feet up in the tree. Now, I take responsibility for them going nuts because I should have known something was going on. But I couldn’t help the instinctive flash of anger at the cat’s owner. I mean, come on. This isn’t the great Savannah. This is Edmonton, with cars, dogs, other cats, poisonous anti-freeze on the road. What the hell are people thinking? oh, it’s so cruel not to let Fifi out. Yeah. You know what’s worse? Leaving Fifi vulnerable to cross the roads and take on 2 tons worth of a compact sedan whose driver doesn’t see her. That’s cruel.
And inconsiderate is letting your cat out so she can do her business in my yard and I’m the one who has to clean it up because I don’t need that kind of waste on my property, nor do I need it attracting other animals, let alone my dogs who will try to roll in it/eat it.
Anyway, back to the poor cat. Got the dogs away. Then went inside and called bylaw, the non emergency fire department number, the non emergency police. Everyone’s telling me to call 9-1-1. Which seems a bit dramatic for a treed cat.
Thank God for the Humane society. They said, “Listen, a cat up in a tree for a few hours is nothing. A cat up a tree for days is something.”
So, I put some food out and let the cat be.
I also enlisted the help of my neighbor who seems to know all the neighborhood cats. Sadly, though, she didn’t know who this one belonged to…which I guess is good, because I probably would have throttled them. This much, I said to my husband and he said (because he’s a wonderful person who doesn’t judge (sssooo unlike me, who usually rams my head right up my butt when it comes to things like this)), “Do you think they’re bad owners for letting the cat out?” And I said, “No, but I think they’re doing something irresponsible. Do you know what it would feel like to accidentally run over someone’s cat and all because they knowingly let them out to roam?” I get that cats can be tricky and escape. Heck, both Peachy and Smokey did that to me. But it’s the group that knowingly, consciously lets their cat out to wander. No one would do this with a child. Why do it with your cat who at best, will have the intelligence level of a 3-5 year old?
THANK God she was gone in the morning because I was flying out and it would have bothered me to no end, flying off to Vancouver and not knowing if she made it down or not. I do wish I knew if the cat made it home, though. I think I saw it yesterday (grr) so I know it’s still alive. But with the weather turning cold, I’m praying it makes into a safe and loving home.
Surrey Conference
Low light: Getting lost EVERY DAY despite a GPS, paper directions, and access to friends via cellphone. Even on the way to the airport, I got lost. Called Marc who picked up and I wailed, “I’M LLLOOOSSSTTT.” and there was a brief, shocked silence and then he said, “Really?” and I started laughing. I mean, come on. The shocking thing would be if I hadn’t gotten lost! The first night, trying to come home, I had to phone them and Lea was trying to talk me through. I could hear Marc in the background saying, “Tell her to go north.” And Lea was like, “It’s Brown. She doesn’t know what north is!”
High Light: Meeting Anne Perry, Bob Mayer, Robert J. Sawyer, and attending classes hosted by Hallie Ephron, Michael Slade, and Donal Maass.
Crazy Wicked High Light: Having the opportunity to talk to agents and editors and finding what the industry is looking for (waah! one page synopsis is what they want. ONE PAGE!! I’m alternately excited by the challenge and daunted by the immensity of it).
SUPER COOL WICKEDLY AWESOME HIGHLIGHT: Meeting fellow writers C.W., M.K., N.A., and S.O.
Writer in Residence
Continuing with my writer in residence at the elementary school and that’s been wicked fun. Some stories that the kids are working on include: The Dancing Gremlin–when gremlins infest the town, our hero has to dress up as a gremlin and dance them out of town…did I mention he’s a dead vampire ghost who gets run over by his best friend who happens to be a bear werewolf?
Then there’s The Haunted House–a witch steals a broom, but the broom knows it doesn’t belong to her so it throws her off, then flies into the cement foundation of a house. And it buries itself in it, cursing the house until its real owner comes back to claim it.
The Fruit Sisters: Based on The Three Little Pigs, these sisters build houses made off fruit and must protect it from a villainous chocolate bar.
Okay, off to work, now…the other thing I found out at the conference is how potentially hard my stories will be to sell because of their fantastic (fantasy) elements. All that means for me, is I’m really going to have to buckle down, make sure the stories are as perfect as possible so the editors/agents will fall in love with those elements.